Bangladesh: Floods and Landslides - Apr 2018Ongoing
Pre-monsoon rains started on 18 April 2018 near Cox’s Bazar on Bangladesh’s southern coast. A risk analysis released in the beginning of this year estimated that at least 86,000 people were living in areas at particularly high risk of floods while more than 23,000 were on steep, unstable hillsides that could crumble with continuous heavy rainfall. The camp population has risen by some 200,000 people since. (Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, 22 Apr 2018)
Over 40,000 Rohingya families in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar refugee camps have now been trained in shelter upgrade techniques ahead of the fast approaching monsoon and cyclone season...In total 100,000 families will be reached through the trainings, while IOM is overseeing the roll out of a similar number of upgrade kits containing ropes, bamboo, tarpaulin and tools. (IOM, 24 Apr 2018)
In case of flooding, the number of people suffering acute watery diarrhea is likely to increase. UNICEF and partners are readying to support an estimated 10,000 people, more than half of which (55 per cent) are children, with treatment for Acute Watery Diarrhea over the next three months. UNICEF is constructing 5 additional Diarrhea treatment centers. One has already opened, two other will open later this week and the two last ones end of May...At least 3 out of 24 health facilities supported by UNICEF in the camps and makeshift settlements are at risk of flooding. This could affect between 25,000 and 30,000 people, more than half of which are children. (UNICEF, 1 May 2018))
UNHCR...is rushing additional aid to Bangladesh where the first monsoon rains have been affecting Cox’s Bazar district and the hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees there. The first of three scheduled humanitarian airlifts carrying additional shelter materials arrived in Bangladesh on Tuesday (1 May). Its load, 1,400 tents, is the first batch of 10,000 tents that UNHCR will airlift by the end of May. The aim is for the tents to provide emergency shelter for an estimated 60,000 refugees currently residing in areas at high risk of landslides and flooding. Aid is also being moved by sea; this includes additional tents, 170,000 tarpaulins sheets, and other basic items. Humanitarian partners estimate that between 150,000 and 200,000 Rohingya refugees will be at risk this monsoon season...Of this number, 24,000 people are at critical risk due to severe instability of the land on which their shelters have been constructed. (UNHCR, 4 May 2018)
The newly prepared 12-acre plot is now ready to receive shelters and other key services. It will provide new homes for nearly 500 families currently living in some of the most high-risk parts of the refugee site. (IOM, UNHCR and WFP, 8 May 2018)
In the Rohingya refugee camps, during the period of 14-21 May, over 50 households and more than 150 individuals were affected by landslides and windstorms. To date, more than 21,300 refugees have been relocated from high risk locations with an additional 8,400 planned...Of the 24,000 latrines to be de-sludged, over 17,500 are completed. There is still a need for new de-sludging and solid waste management sites, and there remains a high risk of disease outbreaks including water borne diseases (Acute Watery Diarrhoea, Hep A, Hep E) and vector borne diseases (Dengue, Malaria), due to the poor sanitary conditions in the camps. (OCHA, 21 May 2018)
Between 22-30 May 2018, 503 refugees living in camps in Cox’s Bazar and at risk of landslides or floods, were relocated to safer areas. More than 660 people were affected by weather-related incidents including landslides during the same period. To date, over 25,000 people have been relocated within the camps either to safer areas, or to facilitate construction and improvement works. (OCHA, 4 Jun 2018)
The first heavy rains of the year swept through Rohingya refugee settlements in Cox’s Bazar district this weekend, marking the start of the monsoon season...Torrential rains and winds up to 70 kilometres per hour caused at least 89 reported incidents, including 37 landslide incidents, causing several injuries and one confirmed fatality – a child. Nearly 2,500 refugee families, some 11,000 people in all, are affected. As of 10 June the rain has become nearly continuous. According to the Bangladesh Meteorological Department nearly 400 millimetres of rain have fallen in Cox’s Bazar area since Sunday. This is equivalent to two thirds of the average June rainfall for this part of the country. (UNHCR, 12 Jun 2018).
From 11 to 18 June, heavy monsoon rains in Cox’s Bazar again triggered flooding and landslides in the Rohingya refugee camps, affecting 9,000 individuals and displacing more than 2,000 people. Small-scale landslides, floods and high winds damaged structures, bridges, culverts, drainage channels and access roads as well as water points, latrines and other facilities in Ukhia and Teknaf. Weather conditions continue to pose serious protection, health and other risks to refugees, especially to women and children who represent over 80 per cent of the Rohingya refugee population. (OCHA, 18 Jun 2018)
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Cox’s Bazar – Almost 12,000 Rohingya refugees have now been moved to safer ground by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, as storms continue to lash southern Bangladesh, damaging tarpaulin shelters and raising the risk of landslides on the steep sandy slopes of the refugee settlements. IOM is racing to support the ongoing relocation of 24,000 people recognized as being highest risk.
NEW YORK, 15 May 2018 – “From the Central African Republic to South Sudan, and from Syria to Afghanistan, attacks on children in conflict have continued unabated during the first four months of the year.
"With little remorse and even less accountability, parties to conflict continue to blatantly disregard one of the most basic rules in war: the protection of children.
Millions at risk from heavy rains and winds
DHAKA, Bangladesh—In response to the start of Bangladesh’s monsoon season and the first heavy rains, the global organization Mercy Corps is helping Rohingya people from Myanmar and Bangladeshis in host communities in Cox’s Bazar access clean water and reinforce their shelters against mudslides and flooding.
On 13 April, UNHCR and Bangladesh signed a MoU, which provides the framework for voluntary, safe, and dignified returns of refugees once conditions in Myanmar are conducive. UNHCR does not believe that current conditions in Rakhine State are currently conducive to returns.
More than 2000 families have been relocated for their safety due to risk of landslide or flooding, and relocations of new arrivals from the UNHCR Transit Centre moving to the main Kutupalong settlement.
From 8 November 2017, a total 6 860 suspected cases of diphtheria have been reported. Cases continue to be reported amongst children aged 5-14 years.
About 985 000 people are being targeted in the Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) campaign that commenced on 6 May 2018 including 135 000 from the host community. Over 464 000 people have been vaccinated by day four.
Like all areas in the Kutupalong-Balukhali megacamp, in Cox’s Bazar district in Bangladesh, Camp 17 is marked by frayed, coloured flags tied to makeshift bamboo and tarpaulin shelters.
But what makes it distinct from other areas in one of the world’s most densely-populated refugee camps is that much of it is still unpopulated.
It is one of the newly created expansion areas to house both new Rohingya refugees who are continuing to flee Myanmar’s Rakhine state and those being relocated from other areas of the camp.
One hour of rainfall during a mild storm on the first of May damaged over one hundred shelters and created large pools of stagnant water throughout the camps.
Weather warnings from Bangladesh Meteorological Department and the University of Columbia predict increased rainfall for Friday May 4. Storms have been continually battering the rest of the country for the last fortnight.
Phase II of WFP’s emergency response is underway. WFP urgently requires USD 198 million for a sustained response to meet the needs of the Rohingya refugees through the rest of the year.
WFP is scaling-up preparedness activities including camp expansion, site maintenance such as clearing drainage channels, and prepositioning of food to mitigate the impacts of the upcoming monsoon season.
- The monsoon season has already hit the refugee camps of Bangladesh. On 4 May, first rain falls led to water logging in Camp 7 and Camp 17 of Kutupalong camp. There were two landslides in Camp 6 and Camp 1E affecting 20 households, displacing 11 of them. In a separate incident, a landslide due to earth work for land preparation led to the death of an 11 year old child and injured two others after they became buried under large volume of sand/earth while collecting firewood.
Cox’s Bazar – Humanitarian agencies working in Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps today marked the completion of the first new plot of land prepared to relocate families most at risk of landslides during the upcoming monsoon season.
The work is part of a major joint initiative involving IOM, UNHCR and WFP. It has involved dozens of earthmoving machines and a workforce of over 3,500 labourers, including both Rohingya refugees and members of the host community, to prepare the land so that families can move to safer ground.
During the reporting period, moderate rain and strong winds started affecting the land and the walkways in the camps; making them muddy and therefore risky for people to move around. Several temporary learning centres were damaged but quickly repaired to allow for continued learning.
From 6-13 May, the second round of Oral Cholera Vaccine (OCV) campaign will take place, targeting nearly one million people above one year of age from both refugee and host communities. Some 259 teams are deployed to support the campaign.